The turning of the calendar page to a new year is traditionally a time for taking stock, considering the future, and resolving to pursue anew our hopes, plans, and dreams. In this spirit, I wanted to share two brief anecdotes about looking forward with a hope-filled spirit.
A number of years ago, I had the good fortune of working with an attorney representing our office in Puerto Rico who was undoubtedly one of the most “glass half full” thinkers I have ever met. When exchanging pleasantries upon meeting (in person or by phone), Tristan would invariably respond to the question, “How are you? or “How’s it going?” with “Very well, thank you — and rapidly improving! How are you?”
“… And rapidly improving.” Fifteen years later, I can still see, hear, and feel the smile on his face and in his voice when he would say this. I’ve always thought it quite remarkable. Mr. Reyes was a labor attorney, a serious and accomplished man who wrestled with difficult and often unpleasant risks, concerns, and dilemmas every day. Yet, in his speech and in his manner, he conveyed a belief that all good things were on the horizon – and if troubles did come his way, he was confident that he would work through them and come out the other side stronger for the struggle. All of that packed into one little phrase and a smile (along with the subtly re-affirming implication that part of the ‘rapidly improving’ part came from getting to interact with you that day).
May the new year bring us many upbeat encounters with remarkable people such as Tristan – along with the ability to convey such positive beliefs to all who come into contact with us.
“Let’s Go Exploring”
As a big fan of the daily comics, it was with sadness that I read Bill Watterson’s last “Calvin and Hobbes” strip on January 1, 1996. (For those unfamiliar with the comic strip, it followed the adventures – real and imagined – of 6-year boy-wonder Calvin and his confidante and partner-in-crime, the stuffed toy tiger, Hobbes). Mr. Watterson honored the strip’s best purposes with a final entry of great whimsy, innocence, hope, and childlike expectation that I’ve always felt was a wonderful and fitting image and message for the new year. Returning Calvin and Hobbes to one of their favorite settings, a childhood paradise of freshly-driven snow and endless possibilities, here’s what he drew:
(CLICK HERE for a larger, clearer version of the strip)
May we all “go exploring” with hope, heart, and eagerness and experience good and great adventures and joys this year. Happy New Year to all!